Seven Malian soldiers died Monday during fighting with suspected jihadist militants in the tense border region near Niger, the army said on Twitter.
A statement said an army patrol was engaged by “terrorists” near the northeastern town of Tabankort, and suffered “seven deaths and 15 injured along with material damage.”
A counterattack was backed by troops from France and Niger, it added.
Northern Mali fell into the hands of jihadists in 2012 before the militants were forced out by a French-led military intervention.
Since then, however, the border regions of Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso have become the theatre of repeated clashes with jihadist fighters.
Mali’s army has been struggling to contain the Islamist insurgency despite help from France, African neighbours and the United Nations.
Two recent attacks have claimed the lives of about 100 Malian soldiers.